Warm spring takes major toll on Wis. maple syrup - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Warm spring takes major toll on Wis. maple syrup

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- While most Wisconsinites were enjoying this spring's unusually warm weather, the state's maple-syrup industry was trying to salvage whatever little sap was flowing. Now officials have determined just how bad the harvest was.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin produced 50,000 gallons of maple syrup this year. That's down 68 percent from the 155,000 gallons produced last year.

Maple trees generate the most sap when cool days are followed by freezing nights. That was a problem this year, as temperatures began hitting the high 60s by mid-March.

Wisconsin wasn't the only state whose harvest suffered. Every major producer except Maine saw a decrease. U.S. production fell 32 percent to 1.9 million gallons.

As usual, Vermont led all states with 750,000 gallons. New York and Maine were next with 360,000 gallons each.

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